DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11152155 ISSN: 2227-9032

A Systematic Review on the Impact of Seasonality on Severe Mental Illness Admissions: Does Seasonal Variation Affect Coercion?

Ioannis Rizavas, Rossetos Gournellis, Phoebe Douzenis, Vasiliki Efstathiou, Panagiota Bali, Kostas Lagouvardos, Athanasios Douzenis
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

Coercion in psychiatry is associated mainly with involuntary admissions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between hospital admissions of patients suffering from affective and schizophrenic disorders and seasonality. A systematic literature search using PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar was conducted, including studies with affective and schizophrenia disorder admissions, published from October 1992 to August 2020. A total of 31 studies were included in the review. Four broad severe mental illness admission categories were identified regarding seasonality: affective disorders, schizophrenia disorders, involuntary admission affective disorders and involuntary admission schizophrenia disorders. There was clear and strong evidence for spring and summer peaks for severe mental illness admissions; data provided for age, gender and involuntary admissions was limited. Seasonality may have a significant effect on the onset and exacerbation of psychopathology of severe mental illness and should be considered as a risk factor in psychiatric admissions, violence and the risk of mental health coercion. A better understanding of the impact of seasonality on severe mental illness will help professionals to provide the best practices in mental health services in order to reduce and prevent psychiatric hospitalizations (especially involuntary admissions) resulting in further coercive measures.

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